Lettuce Take Care


We were talking at work the other day about the universal frustration of receiving a restaurant or deli salad only to discover that the leaves have scarcely been torn in half and worse still, the stump end of the lettuce (affectionately known as the “romaine bum” by my brother) has somehow been incorporated as well, unwanted and unattractive, a pale brown corona gleaming beneath the creamy dressing.

It’s as though this is perfectly acceptable. It’s all lettuce, yes?

Who’s doing this?! Continue reading

Talkin’ About My Maceration




It’s become very fashionable to make a big statement about eating “locally” and “seasonally” but many of us have been doing this as a matter of common sense for years. Strawberries, for example; obviously they are available year round but how to compare a January strawberry that arrives in the grocery store pale, tired and grumbly from all that travelling with the sweet, deeply red jewels we’re savoring this month?

(And, unlike their winter counterparts, these summer fellows do not have the unfortunate texture of a raw potato).

Even within the (almost daily, I confess) samplings of strawberries that I have been eating there’s a wide swoon factor between local and really local; these are the almost black-red, luscious little pillows that have no hint of tartness and adding cream or cake or anything else seems to impinge on their pure, clean taste.

There’s nothing like them is there? Continue reading

Someone’s Mum’s Cinnamon Buns




I don’t care for the commercial grade, overly hefty cinnamon buns.

It’s what my mum would call “too much of a muchness.”

It’s just not okay to me when a bun looks as though it’s been carved away in the style of a Chicago Deep Dish pizza; it’s too much on the plate, the icing texture is reminiscent of toothpaste and no matter how tantalizing the smell is at the time, ultimately, there will be disappointment and a broken plastic fork.

If you can relate to any of this, you will be very happy with the following recipe. Continue reading

Fear of Frying


Like many people I’ve always had a cast iron fry pan in my repertoire but I only drag it out a few times a year for certain recipes and usually afterwards I am lamenting that I didn’t remember how badly it sticks and how I should have re-seasoned it. Then, I generally leave it out for a while to remind myself before finally getting tired of seeing it and back it goes to the dark side of the cupboard. This is a cycle as regular as the seasons yet like many things, I am ashamed to say that it seems less tiresome to slope into my car, drive to a store and purchase yet another non-stick pan once the current one starts getting that sun-burned skin going on in the middle. Disturbing! But lately I feel guilty and a bit queasy when I recall all those things about not having any kind of caged bird around if you use non-stick  (how can THAT be okay?) and then there’s the entire health concern and environmental piece.

So, when I recently unearthed a truly ancient cast iron fry pan that had belonged to The General’s mother – the appearance of which was both endearing and alarming – I was inspired afresh to make things right.  Continue reading